Music Review: ‘Noor’

DJ Munks

Music Reviewer


Author Saba Imtiaz’s novel ‘Karachi, You’re Killing Me!’ Has been adapted to film titled ‘Noor’ set for release later this month. Debutante director Sunhil Sippy has brought his story to the setting of Mumbai with Sonakshi Sinha in the lead role playing the role of Noor who is clumsy and dealing with common personal issues while trying to establish herself as a journalist in the big city. The film seems to be low budget and a small project with focus on story and script seems to be the approach that Sippy has taken. Music of the film has been handed over to the control and creativity of Amaal Mallik. His recent work on couple of songs of ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ (2017) has been well appreciated and this would his big opportunity to shine with a full album along with making a big hit from a small budget film. He has Manoj Muntashir and Kumaar assisting him on lyrics on this project.. and of course his brother Armaan Malik is expected to voice a few of his songs as on most of his albums.

Uff Yeh Noor is the title track of the album featuring the voice of Armaan Malik as expected. A light and chirpy melody rules this song throughout defining the character of Noor in the film. The constant claps and jazz style vocal choruses give the song a very positive and happy-go-lucky vibe. The composition combines jazz and rock very well in the bridge parts although the overall arrangement is clichéd and unimpressive. Lyrics by Muntashir are very average and do a mediocre job of describing the fun attitude, clumsy demeanour and special attributes of her personality. Vocals are good but not brilliant. The nature of the song doesn’t give a lot of room for Malik to impress. This is not a really memorable or impressive song as such and delivers a rather average start to the album.

Gulabi 2.0 sung by Yash Narvekar with Tulsi Kumar and Mallik’s supporting vocals is an urban psychedelic dance number.  It is a strong attempt by Mallik to deliver street dance ‘Step Up’ style music genre to Bollywood in the current remake model of Bollywood music. In this case the remake is of Mohammad Rafi’s classic Gulabi Aakhen Jo Teri Dekhi from ‘The Train’ (1970). The music is far from R.D. Burman’s original composition although the melody for the chorus is the same as the original chorus lyrics of Anand Bakshi. The gorgeous romantic song has now been converted to a modern day urban mashup that is very radical and far from the original style of the song. The composition is very unique and the programming is very meticulous by Mallik’s studio engineers. The use of the classic song has been done very well that adds that extra excitement and high point to the song. Kumaar’s additional lyrics are very stylish and work well with the original. Kumar’s female lead vocals are very strong and well controlled. The use of vocal processing is quite evident but it only adds more charisma to this 2017 remake. A great effort overall but is it far too ahead of the current music tastes of listeners is what is to be seen.

Sukriti Kakar voices the upbeat romantic song Jise Kehte Pyaar Hai. The song has a nice soft beat to it that rides on top of a strong bassline guitar performance. The positive vibe coupled with a catchy melody for the chorus makes this song very memorable. A few listens and this song has the capability to get stuck in the head for the day ahead. The instrumentation falls flat though on the bridge and fails to build up into a music piece that grows on one. Kumaar’s lyrics are rather average and don’t have a lot of depth or innovative way of expressiveness to them. Kakkar’s vocals are rather flat although well controlled. Other than a catchy hook there is not much excitement in this song.

Muntashir’s lyrics are the highlight of Hai Zaroori which fills in the sad song void of the album. The lyrics truly seem to fill an empty void that the music paints an expanse very well of. Pain, disappointment and emotions are really strong in this song as the lyrics define character telling herself that pain and heartbreaks are important in life. The lyrics simplify a complex situation of a low point in the film and it does it really well. Music is well conducted by Mallik as there is a lot of variety of instruments in the orchestra. The simplicity of the arrangement is very heartfelt and lets the emotions of the song shine through. Prakriti Kakar’s vocals contribute big time and bringing those emotions alive. Her every note is perfectly delivered and come out with strong sentiments behind them. The combination of vocals, lyrics and music is electrifying here and almost makes the goose bumps jump up in parts of the song making this a beautiful musical piece that is worth a listen and can be truly well appreciated in one’s private time.

Extended remake of a remix is rare but Gulabi Redux attempts that. The focus on the female lead is higher in the earlier part of the song with a male focus in the later part. The lyrics are the same with the same rap as the original and there is no change in the music of the song. The purpose of this version is unclear and seems like a filler for the sake of adding a new song.

The star commercial song of the album is Move Your Lakk. Entirely composed and written by rap superstar Badshah with a huge collaboration with Punjabi superstar Diljit Dosanjh, this is a sure shot huge hit.. and really well deserved! Badshah’s iconic style and composition makes this song really impressive to listen to. The use of Punjabi tumbi with an urban hip-hop beat and a gorgeous constant electronic bass is really refreshing to hear. The lyrical arrangement is super catchy and groovy. Badshah’s rap is the highlight of the song as always and takes the song to a different level that will really define the success of this song. Dosanjh delivers a very impressive and tight vocal with a lot of attitude with his pure and core Punjabi style making him the dominant performer of the song. Sinha delivers her own female rap vocals that are charming to hear although a far from perfect. With a strong groove, this is the big summer hit of Bollywood. For the UK market, this is quite easily the biggest tune of 2017 so far appeasing all Bollywood and Bhangra fans that will make each and every one want to move their lakk.

The soundtrack of ‘Noor’ is rather inconsistent in sound with a lot of variance going from track to track even with mostly a single music director on board. Amaal Mallik fails to impress as such in all genres but does a fair job on most. He has tried something new with Gulabi 2.0 stepping out of his comfort zone but only time will tell if did manage to strike a chord with the masses with the urban street dance genre. His work on romantic songs is well known but his output here is rather mediocre on Jise Kehte Pyaar Hai. His best work comes on the sad song of the album, Hai Zaroori that has a lot of character and emotion in it thanks to the brilliant lyrics of Manoj Muntashir along with vocals by Prakriti Kakar who is by far the best vocalist on the album. But the song that really steals the show is Move Your Lakk that is the mastermind of Badshah with Diljit Dosanjh who are brilliant together and deliver a major dance hit for North Indian and international audiences that have a soft corner for urban Bhangra. There is a good variety on the album but the ones really worth listening to are only a selected few.  Rating – 7/10